Allowing an ordinary bloke from Liverpool with a strong Merseyside accent and no confidence to perform in front of thousands, appears to be a recipe for disaster. And that's precisely what the judges believed when bolstered by a profound nervousness that leaves the microphone quivering uncontrollably in his hand, Christopher Maloney takes the stage at an X Factor
"Are you shaking?" asks judge and singer songwriter Tulisa Contostavlos.
"I'm really really nervous, yeah," responds the 34-year-old.
In a pre-performance clip discussing his path to the audition, Maloney, almost overwhelmed at the prospect of his forthcoming audition, explains how for the past four years:
I've downloaded the application form, filled it out, put it in an envelope and ripped it up every year.
The customer service adviser said it had taken him five years to build up the courage to apply after people had discouraged him and said he was not good enough. Maloney, who is accompanied by his 76-year-old grandma, 'Pat', then explains how close he is to his 'Nan.'
"She's the only one that's believed in me" he said. "When my granddad died" he added, "I moved in to take of her." The song Maloney has chosen to sing is Bette Midler's, 'The Rose,' a melody played at his grandfather's funeral.
With an interminable and torturous wait for the music to start, Maloney's nervousness only grows. Judge Gary Barlow, former lead vocalist of British group, Take That, isn't even looking at the stage when Maloney opens his mouth to sing but whips his head around in a hurry at the very first note.
The rest as they say, is history. Maloney brings the crowd to its feet as the camera pans to a bevy of audience members openly weeping. Towards the end of the song, (and we'll predict it now), the 'former' customer adviser has a tough time holding it together. As all four judges give the Liverpudlian a standing ovation, Maloney finally crumbles.
"Oh my God," Maloney mouths as the tears begin to flow.
"Christopher, how old are you?" asks Barlow.
"Thirty-four," he responds.
"How the hell have you kept that voice hidden 'til now?" the judge queries.
After wowing both the judges and the crowd, the Liverpudlian is now a huge contender to win the entire thing.
In the U.S., Britney Spears will be unveiled as one of two new X Factor
judges for the American version of the show which returns Sept. 12. Spears will join resident judges: Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid, along with new judge, singer Demi Lovato.